Saturday, July 11, 2009

Capturing the moment

One of my favourite things to do is to hook rugs.
I love to design them, dye the wool and start painting with the fibre.  The obvious place to start is to figure out your subject matter.  The best way is when you see an image and just know you have to give it a voice.  This rug is taken from a photo that said so much to me. 
My husband Rob, our son and myself were up at Christina Lake. It was the place were Rob spent most of his summers with his grandfather. He has memories that most of us only read about in books.  Being able to take his own son up there was so special for him. On that day Rob was out in the lake while Josh and his buddies were jumping and diving off of the dock. The water was sparkling and the air resounded with choruses of, "Dad. Watch me do this!".  My friend Carol took this photo when Josh was in mid leap.  It was one of those perfect moments.  I knew I had to paint it with wool. In order to give it more meaning, I hooked Josh's swim shirt and shorts with a vest that had belonged to Rob's dad. Howard would wear that vest every Christmas.
I wanted to honour the generations that had all loved being up at the lake together.  Through the images and the materials I was able to represent, Arnold, Rob's granddad, Howard, Rob's father, Rob, and our son Josh.  This rug will always be able to communicate a special moment for us.  I wish you all creative moments that speak to what you hold dear.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Celebrating the Bumpy Ones!

One of my favourite comic strips is “Pearls before Swine”. I was thrilled when its author, Stephan Pastis,  gave me permission to post this strip on the blog.  For me it was so endearing and I wanted to stand up and shout, “ I understand.  I like the bumpy ones too!”  

In my life I moved around a fair bit and the things that I held on to may not have been valuable but they were special to me in some personal way.  Sometimes I had no better explanation about a specific item’s appeal except than, “It was the bumpy one.”  

What makes us hold onto certain items?  What makes the attachments?  Maybe nothing is really apart from connections to people or events, but what draws us to pick the bumpy one instead of looking for the technically superior piece?

When I was thinking about the appeal of imperfection (Really. I promise I was doing that.) I realized that this was in part my answer to the nightmare, “What if my work isn’t good enough?”.  

Pig showed me that I was asking the wrong question (yes the character’s name is pig).  Good enough doesn’t guarantee a connection.  What people are looking for is something that communicates to them and engages them in some way.

How do you make sure that happens? You don’t. You make sure that the things you make speak to you.  If it makes you feel or think or grabs your interest, you have a good chance of doing that with someone else. What do you like? What draws you? Don’t be afraid to collect, celebrate and make the bumpy ones. Enjoy!